Automation technology is an integral part of chemical plants since the beginning of industrial chemistry. The evolution of process automation has been driven by the specific requirements of process industry and by the innovation cycles of instrumentation technology and control theory. Chemical production plants are still a fruitful and inspiring application field of automation with an enormous leverage on production economy. Automation today is an enabling technology for production efficiency and operational excellence of chemical processes. This contribution outlines the development and new applications of automation and control in the field of process industry and gives some ideas to facilitate the convergence of theoretical development and engineering practice.